Nottingham Forest manager Nuno Espirito Santo has advocated for an immediate change in the laws governing VAR (Video Assistant Referee) intervention following a controversial incident involving Brentford striker Ivan Toney. In a recent Premier League match, Toney scored a free-kick against Nottingham Forest, but only after subtly moving the ball from its original position.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s call for action comes in response to VAR’s inability to intervene in situations where the ball’s position is altered before a set piece. The incident in question occurred when Toney, recently back from a suspension, scored a pivotal free-kick by repositioning the ball to a more advantageous spot after referee Darren England had set it.
This action by Toney, which went unnoticed by the match officials, has sparked a debate about the limitations of VAR. The Nottingham Forest boss expressed frustration over the referees’ lack of intervention before the free-kick and has since contacted the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL) to address the issue.
In his response, Nuno emphasized that while it is a team’s responsibility to be vigilant during such situations, the officials should also play their part. He pointed out that the referee had drawn a line for the ball’s placement, which was subsequently moved, indicating a clear oversight.
Nuno’s call for a change is not just about this one incident but reflects a broader concern about fairness and accuracy in football refereeing. He stressed the importance of dialogue in addressing these issues and expressed hope that such incidents would be less likely to occur in the future due to increased vigilance.
The controversy around Ivan Toney’s goal underscores ongoing discussions about the role and limitations of VAR in football. As the game evolves, so too do the rules and technologies that support fair play, and Nuno’s call for change might be a step towards further refining the use of VAR in the sport.